7NEWS has unveiled its newly-formed Spotlight investigations division set to deliver a series of investigative specials in prime-time for Seven.
The small, crack team of award-winning journalists and producers led by Mark Llewellyn and Denham Hitchcock will focus on major breaking news events as well as long-form investigations of national significance.
The series, which by design will have no permanent timeslot, premieres with The Lindy Tapes – a documentary six-months in the making that uncovers stunning new evidence in the now infamous Chamberlain case.
‘A dingo’s got my baby’. Five words that will forever divide a nation. The tragic death of a baby girl in outback Australia that at one point in time became a T-Shirt slogan, a punchline. The trial one of the most publicised in our history. Ask most Australians and they’ll tell you they know everything there is to about the Azaria Chamberlain case.
They don’t. Incredibly, crucial parts of this story remain untold.
Now, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of baby Azaria’s disappearance and the greatest miscarriage of justice in Australian criminal history, a major investigation from the 7NEWS Spotlight team unearths the secret police tape recordings never broadcast.
Hours upon hours of interviews and conversations that detail the elaborate plot by police to find an innocent, grieving mother guilty of murder.
And for the first time we hear from multiple key witnesses who came forward at the time but were turned away by police – their testimony ignored.
Award-winning investigative journalist Denham Hitchcock, who leads this investigation, said: “It may be late, but the truth always finds its way out. Finally, broadcast for the first time, the hard evidence the police at the centre of this original investigation were hell bent on locking up Lindy Chamberlain for life. Over a period of months our 7NEWS Spotlight team has tracked down the witnesses who have stayed silent for all these years, and uncovered shocking unseen camera tapes buried deep in the Channel Seven vault.”
Network Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson added: “What Denham brings to the screen is an in-depth investigation into the Chamberlain injustice that has never been uncovered until now. Pouring over 80 hours of tapes from the time. The police interviews, secret recordings. News strands of evidence from all over Australia and more significantly the Spotlight is told through the eyes of the police as tainted as they were.”
7NEWS Spotlight: The Lindy Tapes airs Sunday 16 August at 8.30pm on 7 and 7plus